Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kilig!

I couldn't stop grinning like a ninny when I saw Brighter Life's Contributors page, because I was on the same page with my local personal finance heroes! Fitz Villafuerte and Randell Tiongson have helped and educated so many Filipinos with their blogs and seminars, and they seem like genuinely nice guys as well.

And I'm not just saying this because I'm a contributor, but I really do enjoy reading Brighter Life's articles. I know the hard work that went into the site (Hi Tara!) and I'm happy that it all paid off in the end, resulting in an easy to navigate and interesting site that will definitely help a lot of people who want to know more about personal finance.

I'm so glad that talking about money is no longer frowned upon.

Kilig!

I couldn't stop grinning like a ninny when I saw Brighter Life's Contributors page, because I was on the same page with my local personal finance heroes! Fitz Villafuerte and Randell Tiongson have helped and educated so many Filipinos with their blogs and seminars, and they seem like genuinely nice guys as well.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I'm Part of Brighter Life!



So now I can finally announce that I was tapped to be part of Sun Life's writers for their blog Brighter Life. My first post (Pregnant Pause: How I Knew We Were Ready to Get Pregnant) came out recently and you can read it here. Click! Click!

I'm Part of Brighter Life!



So now I can finally announce that I was tapped to be part of Sun Life's writers for their blog Brighter Life. My first post (Pregnant Pause: How I Knew We Were Ready to Get Pregnant) came out recently and you can read it here. Click! Click!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Emergency Fund = Hello Cebu!

Our July budget is pretty much shot with our surprise Cebu trip to visit my ninong in the hospital, but thank goodness that those expenses are covered by either our emergency funds or the cash in my work ATM which I never got around to withdrawing during my maternity leave.

I remember when my lolo died two years ago. It was a few days before holy week and so ticket prices were astronomical! As in a round-trip ticket to Tacloban was Php8,000 from the usual Php3,000-Php4,000. We didn't have Php16,000 lying around that time and I was wary about incurring credit card debt after just wiping them out, so Gary ended up staying in Manila while I went to Biliran with my family for my lolo's burial.

Fast forward to recent times and I didn't think twice about charging our tickets to Cebu because I knew that we had it covered. For the nth time, thank goodness for emergency funds.

Friday, July 12, 2013

July Budget and Goals



It's now safe to talk about last month's mysterious Miscellaneous expense because the party we were planning for my mom's 60th birthday is no longer pushing through.



For the past two months or so, my family has been putting together a surprise party for my mom. Every sib, save for the youngest, was to contribute Php10,000 for the party expenses and my share was supposed to be June's miscellaneous expense. Unfortunately, my mom's brother-in-law suffered a heart attack two days ago so the Cebu peeps will no longer be able to come. And knowing that my mom might go to Cebu if his condition worsens, my dad decided to just scrap the party since if her sisters won't be able to make it, then there's no reason to hold the party.


True enough,  my mom's in Cebu now to visit her sister and brother-in-law, and the hubby and I are also going to Cebu on Monday after our son's baptism on Sunday. Incidentally, Ace's baptism costs will be lumped under this month's Miscellaneous expense together with the furniture and bedsheet we bought last week, while the airline tickets will be settled on August since I charged them to my credit card.


Back to the party. My sister and I paid Php20,000 as downpayment and we will be able to get Php10,000 of that back since the cancellation was done more than three days before the party. The remaining Php10,000 will be considered as some sort of deposit and can still be used on any party or gathering until the end of the year. We've asked if we can use the Php10,000 in the clubhouse restaurant instead and hopefully the management agrees.


Moving forward, this month's goals are:


  • Find a yaya for the baby.

  • Comply with the Kasambahay Law requirements.

  • Start a travel fund for Project Tuscany.

  • Lose 5 lbs.


 

July Budget and Goals


It's now safe to talk about last month's mysterious Miscellaneous expense because the party we were planning for my mom's 60th birthday is no longer pushing through.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The State of Filipino Finances

I always look forward to receiving Sun Life's financial literacy report or the Study of Lifestyles Attitudes and Relationships Financial Literacy Report (SOLAR FLARe), as it pretty much sums up our financial quotient as a country. It also helps that the report is presented in a very easy to comprehend slideshow (much appreciated!).

For the recent SOLAR FLARe, Sun Life interviewed 1,100 respondents from the middle to upper income segments and here are the factoids that struck me:
  • Filipinos are optimistic- 87% expect their financial situation to go up.
  • Filipinos define financial security as having enough savings in the bank (!!)
  • Most Filipinos are confident about how they manage their finances, with 20% claiming to be experts, but only 8% scored above 80% in a basic financial literacy test.
  • The Philippines has a higher rate of insurance penetration than the United States.
I am not surprised with the news on Filipino optimism, after all it seems to be deeply rooted in our psyche. But this time around, the optimism seems to be misplaced because how can you be optimistic about your financial security if you only have your bank savings to fall back on? Talk about blind optimism.

The good news is that more Filipinos are getting themselves financially educated and are looking beyond bank savings. The bad news is, not enough Filipinos are doing so. 

For now, I'd like to focus on the good and contribute to increasing the average by continuing with my personal mission to educate as much of my friends on personal finance and investments.

These are definitely exciting times to be a financial nerd :)

The State of Filipino Finances

I always look forward to receiving Sun Life's financial literacy report or the Study of Lifestyles Attitudes and Relationships Financial Literacy Report (SOLAR FLARe), as it pretty much sums up our financial quotient as a country. It also helps that the report is presented in a very easy to comprehend slideshow (much appreciated!).

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Round-up of June Budget and Goals

 



For the first time ever, we went below our monthly restaurant budget. Don't think for a moment though that we suddenly developed tremendous self-control and discipline though, hell to the no. This sudden restraint when it comes to eating out was brought about by taking care of our son and the hassle that bringing him outside entails, specially since his poop sometimes seeps out of his diaper (TMI) and the probability of seepage seems to increase when we're outside.






My husband also seems to have rediscovered his love for cooking, I don't know if this was brought about by being housebound or he just got his cooking mojo back, whatever it is, I'm liking the home cooked meals and the savings these bring.



The mysterious miscellaneous category will still have to remain shrouded in mystery for now. You never know who might find their way into my blog.



Now on to last month's goals:



  • Breastfeed exclusively- Done.

  • Store breastmilk - Done. But I'm not storing as much as I would like and the way it's turning out, I only have 2-3 days worth of milk for Ace when I go back to work on the 15th. I've been pumping more per day and am considering supplementing with formula if my stored breastmilk runs out. After all, formula is not the enemy. The real enemy is the sneaky way it is marketed.

  • Blog regularly again for my 3 sites- Done.

  • Resume freelance work- Done.

  • Get back on the couch to 5k program- Nope. But I resumed running yesterday, so I guess that's substantial compliance? Exercise is just amazing. I'm already feeling more energetic and more like myself with just a simple 20 minute walk/run around the condo compound.



The middle of July marks the end of my maternity leave and I'm honestly looking forward to dressing up and going back tow work again. I'm just worried about how Ace will react when someone other than his mom feeds him, and with a bottle pa and not the boob he's grown accustomed to. Anyway, it's a good thing he'll be at my mom's house while I'm at work, so I know he'll be in good hands.

Round-up of June Budget and Goals


For the first time ever, we went below our monthly restaurant budget. Don't think for a moment though that we suddenly developed tremendous self-control and discipline though, hell to the no. This sudden restraint when it comes to eating out was brought about by taking care of our son and the hassle that bringing him outside entails, specially since his poop sometimes seeps out of his diaper (TMI) and the probability of seepage seems to increase when we're outside.